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Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by Break_Duty, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Break_Duty

    Break_Duty New commenter

    I line manage the D&T head of department, but have not taught the subject myself and am after a little confirmation on a recent issue. In conversation with the HOD they implied that in KS3 they will be focusing on the 'making' of products over and above evidence of planning, designing or evaluation - this causes my concerned.
    In my subject a product alone isn't enough evidence of a level nor would I say is it good practice to only focus on this area. The HOD is relucant to see this point of view.
    I have read the NC, but wanted a little confirmation about my thoughts, or the heads-up that I needed to re-think.
  2. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    It is a strange one in DT, Why is it that everyone thinks that progress = increase in knowledge???
    Just because a student doesn't know something at the start of a lesson and does at the end is the standard measure of progress in other lessons Tech is a different ball game. The question really is your interpretation of progress and the scale to measure it on. I agree that it isnt always obvious that students have made progress in a practical lesson because you can't document it. but it is there... Progress doesn't have to be measured on an intelligence scale, If a student didn't know how to say glue accurately or cut out a certain part at the start of the lesson but had a completed / part completed product at the end they must have learned a skill in order for that to happen. i.e. progress. (incidentally this progress will be documented in a few lessons time when they evaluate their product... which brings me to my next point.....
    The other factor is the scale that progress is measured on.....
    Put it into the real world for a second.... If a builder is adding an extension to your house, they perhaps lay 5 bricks in 10 minutes... have they made progress?? yes. Is it much progress? no. After a couple of days, the building is starting to take shape, the window frames might be in... has he made progress? yes. and compared to the 10 minutes you watched him for its loads of progress.
    If you want to measure progress by "things learned during a specific time slot"... Look at the scheme of work, see what the students know before they start the 6 weeks or whatever... see what they know at the end... see progress.
    I understand your point of view, but is your HOD playing the "long game" they may have found (like us) that GCSE work stalls because of the time taken to manufacture products. This is due to a lack of skills in students which in turn is due to the NC being overly focussed on "designing" and "evaluating". Because the NC is for ALL TECHNOLOGIES and therefore needs to be a "best fit"
    The way we got round the same problem is by looking at the KS3 during a whole year. If the kids (who rotate teachers) do a good evaluation in Graphics, then why do they need to do it again in RM and again in Systems and again in food tech? they've done an evaluation, they've been levelled for it. Why re-do it???? thats probably the middle ground you and the HOD are looking for.
    Hope this helps and isn't too rant ish
  3. Break_Duty

    Break_Duty New commenter

    Pedro thank you! You have explained it perfectly, rant or no rant. [​IMG]
    My point is that you have to plan what students are doing, ensure that they meet NC standards at some point, but AT SOME POINT, and not just leave it to the production of lots of products to evidence a level.
    If the objective is small and specific then that is ok as a measurement of progress that is small and specific -I think that was your point.
    The SoW is limited and to be effective (especially as we are due for OfSted) the HoD needs to produce the appropriate paperwork to justify the focus,
    More work for Monday!
  4. At our school KS3 students rotate around the department. they either do 3 or 4 projects each year. You cannot expect all areas of NC to be covered (in detail) in short projects BUT over a year they will have covered all, so we have a tracking sheet that the students fill in and stays with them for the whole of KS3, that way it shows progression as well. SOW highlight the NC areas covered for specific projects

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